Detroit - The Detroit Tigers will send three players to Minneapolis for this year's All-Star game at Target Field. These players have certainly earned a chance to compete on Tuesday, and recaps of their first-half performances are given below.
Cabrera is playing in his ninth All-Star game, including each of the last five seasons in Detroit. The two-time defending MVP ranks fourth in the MLB in RBI, and in the top 10 in hits, runs and batting average.
He will start at first base over Edwin Encarnacion and Brandon Moss despite owning a lower WAR through the first half of the season. Cabrera owns a .308 average, which is 30 points better than the next closest first baseman.
Cabrera's greatest moment of the first half came on May 13 in Baltimore. After the Tigers were shut out for eight innings by Orioles starter Ubaldo Jimenez, Cabrera hit a three-run home run with two outs in the ninth inning to put the team ahead. Detroit would hold on and eventually earn the three-game sweep on the following day.
Victor Martinez is playing in his fifth All-Star game, but his first since 2010. Throughout the first half of the season, Martinez has been perhaps the best all-around hitter in the American League. He is the only player that ranks in the top 10 in both batting average (.328) and home runs (21).
Despite the gaudy numbers, Martinez will play behind Nelson Cruz on Tuesday after finishing second in the voting for designated hitters. Cruz leads the American League in home runs and RBI, but hits 38 points lower than Martinez and has struck out 52 more times. The Tigers' DH owns a higher on-base percentage and slugging percentage than Cruz, but will play backup to the Oriole.
Martinez set the tone for his first half during his first at-bat of the season. The 35-year-old turned on an offering from James Shields for a 368-foot solo blast to right field.
Scherzer is back on the All-Star roster after starting the game in New York last season. The defending Cy Young Award winner owns a 10-3 record despite a slightly-inflated ERA of 3.47.
Though he is unlikely to start the game, Scherzer certainly has some of the nastiest stuff in the league. He ranks third in the AL with 139 strikeouts compared to just 33 walks.
Scherzer was at his best on June 12 when he shut out the White Sox in Chicago for his first career complete game. He fanned eight batters in that game while allowing just three hits for his eighth win of the year.
Kinsler was named to the All-Star team after Martinez announced he wouldn't play because of an injury. The second baseman should have been on the team in the first place, as he ranks as the third most valuable hitter in the American League this season.
With a .307 batting average, 11 home runs and 51 RBI, Kinsler is a real MVP candidate in the AL. He's also been a terror on the base paths, stealing 10 bases and ranking second in the league with 64 runs scored.
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